Monday, 6 November 2017

November 2017

November 26th

A stop at the Grand Canal at Davitt Road, produced another first sighting of one of our Urban Herring Gull Juveniles.  The reports I am getting, all seem to be further afield.
In fact the majority of the sightings I am getting are from the Urban nesting Lesser Black-backed Gull Juveniles who have made their way to Spain and Portugal!  See my recommended blogs.  Even the Urban Herring Gull sightings are spreading out with Arklow now being the furthest south.

November 25th

I have been having email problems all week.  Firstly emails with attachments not arriving, unable to send etc.  If you have sent me a sighting and haven't received a report within in a reasonable time eg 48 hours, please send again to the address mute.swan.ring@gmail,com  .  All sights of our Gulls and Swans are important and appreciated

November 19th

Doing a Canal count today, I observed yet another Norwegian Black Headed Gull.  J03U was ringed.  Ringed as an adult in 2015, it has not been recorded outside Norway before.  Are Black Headed Gulls still passing through?  It would be great to ring wintering Black Headed Gulls, but while a large proportion are passing through still, the re-sighting percentage would be low.  I am trying to ascertain when the winter population stabilizes for more accurate re-sighting data year on year.

Norway J03U

November 18th

Quick stop at Bullock Harbour.  Loads of Gulls, but only one red ring briefly spotted.  First sighting away from Irelands Eye for R[342:D]

At Dun Laoghaire there were 2 Mediterranean Gulls.  2XK5 is a new individual for me to observe.  Ringed last year in Dublin.

November 15th

I was right! Received ringing data for T96W and it was ringed this year as an adult.  However it was observed in Dublin already this winter so it looks like it will stick around and isn't just passing through.

November 14th

New Black Headed Gull today!  As a species they are so habitual.  You get the same gull in the same park year after year.  It is rare to see them at a different location.  Today at lunch I was in Tymon Park at the Spa Well end.  I was just leaving when I spotted a yellow darvic ring.  

The Polish ring T96W is new to me.  I am awaiting the ringing details, but I expect it to be recently ringed or I would have seen it before!

November 13th

At Sean Walsh Park, one of our Red ringed Herring Gulls turned up.  A 2nd visit to this park by this one from a location near St Vincents Hospital.

November 9th

In Sean Walsh Park today the Swedish Black Headed Gull 6430814 was recorded.  I would have thought it was late, but it is great to have other ring readers and David Hutchinson Edgar recorded it on October 30th.  This Gull was ringed in 2010 in Sweden.  Great to see it back for another winter.

November 3rd

I was on a short holiday in Galway, on the west coast of Ireland and nice to see the Ring Billed Gull, we don't often get them on the East Coast.  This American Gull is a regular visitor to Galway.

I only read one Darvic on my holiday and what an interesting sighting for me.  Rubbish photo but JHP9 is from Norway and winters in Galway.  I however, have recorded it in Dublin on migration in March 2016.

Monday, 2 October 2017

A Herring Gull with our ring!

October 28th

Howth Harbour, plenty of Gulls about but it was over an hour till the first ring was recorded and the 2nd the following hour!  So I moved on to Bull Island.

A the Bull, there were plenty of Brent Geeses to read rings as I walked along.  This was the most intriguing Gull of the day.  A Herring Gull with 2 un-coded yellow rings.  The left one appears to have a black line.  However, before I got to steady the camera it walked into the water so all I got were record shots from 60m.  If anyone knows anything about the origins of this Herring Gull I would be grateful.  It does match a scheme in Holland in 2000, but all other schemes also Metal ring. I have sent the photo to the Dutch Scheme to see if it is indeed a match.

I did also spot a blue ring OJN.  Ringed on the Island of Irelands Eye in 2010.  I have not recorded this individual since 2014! 
 Eventually my persistence paid off and near the Causeway, I spotted a red Ring 074:D.  This is an Irelands Eye Herring Gull.

Pleasant morning and I also read 10 Brent Rings.

October 23rd

The Urban Gull Project means this year we coloured Ringed almost 250 large Gull Pullus this year in Dublin, but sightings have been thin on the ground compared to what I'd expected!  The Lesser Black Backed Juveniles have started turning up in Spain and Portugal (which is to be expected), but where are all the Herring Gull Juveniles?  Today in Sean Walsh Park, Tallaght, this individual appeared.  Ringed at St Vincents Hospital, at least we now know it fledged.

Larus argentatus - Urban Gull Project - Red [010:D]

October 22nd

I finished my morning with a walk at Dun Laoghaire.  Quite a few Mediterranean Gulls but only 4 with coloured rings.  The Polish Mediterranean Gull Red [PRN6] is a regular as is the German Green [AKAJ]but the other two were new to me, although I know they have been recorded in Dublin before.

Mediterranean Gull 3YJJ from Belguim

ASTS - 2CY Mediterranean Gull. Germany

At Bullock Harbour, there were 3 Blue Rings, 2 x GBBGU and 1 x Herring Gull.  Where are all the juveniles gone?  It was 95% Adult birds!
Bullock Harbour.
Great Black Backed Gull Blue [1VV]

This morning at Bray there were 17 coloured ringed Swans and 1 metal ring.  The metal ring was a surprise.  W21645 was ringed in 2006 as a 2nd year.  It has lost its coloured ring CAXJ!  It is almost a year since it has been last reported.  Now I know why!

October 21st

At Heuston Station, there was one of our Urban Gulls preening on the Liffey. Red [016:D]

October 14th

Sandymount Strand this afternoon provided a variety of CR Birds.  My bird of the day was a Norwegian Black-headed Gull. J41M. Another new to me BLHGU!

It wasn't the only Black-headed Gull ESVL was also re-sighted (Belguim).  I also read some Oystercatchers HZ, LF and PF.  I am still waiting for replies to my last oystercatcher submission in July, but I will send in the reports.
Oystercatcher HZ

Oystercatcher PF

I read a couple of Med Gull rings but the the real indication of the time of year was there were 59 Brent Geese on the beach.  Great to see them back.  There were only 2 with coloured rings.  The photos aren't great on the beach but I am photographing from 50 - 100m as not to disturb the birds.  The photo of the flock below is cropped, so the fact that I can zoom in and read the rings, means the photography does sometimes suffer!

Brent Goose 9KRR.

October 8th

A wet and windy afternoon, but I went for a walk on Sandymount Strand anyway.  I spotted a yellow Darvic on a Black Headed Gull.  Through the rain it looked at first like the Lough Mask bird 217G, so I took some photos.  To my surprise the photos are of my first Black Headed Gull from the North Thames Ringing Group Yellow 2J76.  Ringed in Essex in 2017.  Another new Black-headed Gull for me!

October 5th

At Sean Walsh Park I spotted  a black ring on a Black-headed gull. It was another of the Brewood Ringers gulls from Birmingham.  I immediately assumed it was the same one that appeared last year as a Juvenile but I realised it wasn't.  Legs appeared too dark for a 2nd year.  Last year it was 2AHP, this year it is 2APA who dropped in.  Will it stay or just another passing through?  This one will be interesting in aging adults.

Black-headed Gull + Brewood Ringers + 2APA

October 3rd

Myself and Tonya went out to Howth today.  We managed to read 12 rings between Herring Gull and Great Black Backed Gulls.  I was expecting the number of our Red rings to be higher that 4, considering we ringed 140 on Irelands Eye over the summer.  On Irelands Eye on out last trip, 1 out of 5 carried a ring.  Today it was 1:50.  The question is where are all these Juveniles coming from.  Maybe Lambay Island?

What makes ring reading interesting is where they come from.  The Juvenile Lesser Black Backed Gull 307:D is from an Urban nest.  It was ringed in the heart of Dublin City as a flightless Juvenile

Larus Marinus - Great Black Backed Gull.  307:D is from an Urban nest.  Not all here are locals!!

HOWTH HARBOUR 03/10/2017
0LV 178:D 3EU 2AM 1AM 307:D
OAP 125:D 1UK 318:D

1AM - NOte Primary feathers are not yet full grown after moult

October 2nd 2017

At lunch time at Sandycove the were about 20 Mediterranean Gulls and a Coloured Ringed Black Headed Gull from Norway.  This was my CR Bird of the day.  I had not seen this individual before.  It was caught and ringed as an adult in April 2017 in Norway.  It has probably been coming to Ireland since it first fledged.  SK has recorded it twice at the Booterstown Roost. Again the photo isn't great but it is cropped from a photo on Maximum Zoom.  (It was about 40m away!)

Black Headed Gull from Norway

Med Gull 2XK2 is really interesting as it is part of the small Irish Breeding population

At Bullock Harbour earlier this morning a quick check showed 3 Great Black Backed Gulls with Coloured Rings.  1VV is a Great Black Backed from Irelands Eye, Ringed in 2013, but looking very much an Adult.  However, bill has both too much black, and not yellow enough.  It is  "Dirty around the Eye" which is also dull, not yellow, compared to the wintering adults.  I would also note it isn't black enough!

There were 2 of this years Juveniles, I was expecting to get more sightings than we have.  But all in good time.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

September - CR Kittiwake, CR LBBGU and CR Oystercatcher

September 19th

In the parks of Tallaght, no new gull rings this week so far.  However, Black Headed Gull 27H0 is there most days.

However, while checking on Cygnet numbers at Ballycragh Park, I spotted some Mediterranean Gulls.  When checking these out I spotted a Black Headed Gull with a white Ring.  It was E5VA.  This Dutch bird was a regular in Sean Walsh Park in 2012 and 2013.  Since then it has only been seen once or twice a year at that location.  I will have to keep a watch on Ballycragh Park to see if it a regular there.

September 17th evening

I took a walk on Booterstown Strand this evening and although I read some CR Med Gulls, two things were of particular interest.  There was a Golden Plover on the beach!  I have never seen one so far away from cover.  A Black Headed Gull was spotted.  Another Polish one !

September 17th 

For 4 years I have been studying the Swans of Dublin and Wicklow.  I have been ringing and reading metal rings.  Then today, at Bray, a Swan, I have never seen before, swam in to the harbour with 6 grown cygnets.  The ring was probably put on in 2007, but I thought I knew all 60 nesting pairs! They continue to surprise me.

Family of Swans arriving at Bray.

ZZ6602 - Where have you been hiding all these years?

At Bullock Harbour this afternoon, there were large number of Large Gulls.  However, none of our red rings among the juveniles.  Apart from a Great Black-backed Gull 2LH and a med gull, there were no coloured rings to read.  Nice to see AKAJ back at Bullock for yet another season.

Due to a technical problem, I have received no emails to my Eircom address from 13th - 16th of September.  If you haven't received a reply within 48 hours, please resend!

Mediterranean Gull - AKAJ Germany

September 16th AM

Broadmeadows Estuary, quick stop.  Swan numbers appear well down this week.  The big movement has started. Certainly the 110 looks to have dropped to below 70.  Always difficult to count as some could be on the Islands or moved to the outer Estuary.

I did spot a CR Oystercatcher run across a sand bank.  Mad scramble to get camera out before it went back into the water.  Just as well, at 50 m I could see Orange over white.  The photo showed an inscription!
Bruce Lynch of the Tay Ringing Group quickly responded to me reporting it and confirmed it is Scottish.

September 11th

Sean Walsh Park and the first of the urban Gulls to appear!

September 10th

Instead of going to Booterstown Strand I went to Sandymount Strand 1km north (Nearer Dublin City Center).  Good numbers of Black Headed Gulls 1,000+.  Surely I must get a coloured ring among them? Eventually I spotted just one.  A yellow ring from Belguim.  Not having sighted this one before I assume it was only ringed this summer as an adult.  I await the report.

Black Headed Gull from Belguim.  Yellow ESVL.

September 9th

The Mute Swans are on the move, with 7 on the Grand Canal, 10 at Bull Island. Most of those read are from Broadmeadows, but the next 3 weeks will be busy completing the 2017 annual survival figures.  Today I read one new Colour Ringed Swan on the Canal.
My I-Webs count finishes at the Grand Canal Basin.  There was a Chinese Dragon Boat race about to start so less Gulls than usual.  But among the Herring Gull Juveniles was a Great Black Backed Juvenile with a Red Ring. 312:D.  However, it is not from Irelands Eye.  It was ringed as a Pullus on the roof of the Dáil!

Great Black Backed Gull.  Urban Gull from the Dáil roof.

September 2nd

Went out ring reading with a friend Sean this evening.  Stopping at Heuston Station, I quickly spotted a yellow ringed Black Headed Gull.  Great start, a new Polish gull.  The online reporting to Poland is quick and efficient.  I already know why I haven't seen this bird before.  It was only ringed as an adult this year.  Mine is the first sighting since ringing.
Black Headed Gull from Poland Yellow T9PC

We were at Heuston Station looking at the mud banks on the Liffey to see if we could see and of our CR Urban Gulls.  Eventually I spotted a Herring Gull Juvenile with one of our rings.

Herring Gull from our Urban Gull Project

We went out to Broadmeadows Estuary and read loads of Swan Rings.  Loads read, but no new to add into the annual survival statistics.  We did spot a Great Black Backed way out on a sand bank.  1NH, I haven't see it since 2014!
Great Black Backed Gull from Irelands Eye

Sean also spotted one of our Irelands Eye Herring Gulls, again way out on a sand bank 174:D

We went on to Gormanstown Beach as Med Gulls are being reported from here.  No Med Gull rings recorded but scanning from the car park there were two Great Black Backed Gulls with Blue rings.  Too far away to read.  These were not located again but soon two other CR Birds showed themselves.  The first, among the 100 Black Legged Kittiwakes was the following juvenile.  Dreadful photobelow but the only one showing the lime ring.  Some projects are run by enthusiastic and efficient co-ordinators and this kittiwake project is one of those.   Jean-Yves Monnat has already confirmed it one of theirs from Finistere in Brittany. (The most western point of France),  and sent me the life history to date.
CR Black Legged Kittiwake
However, most of the time was trying to read a Lesser Black Backed Gull.  It kept moving behind other birds.  We were unsure of the code but in looking back on the photos I believe it is YE41 which makes it from Iceland!  A first for me both for CR LBBGU and 1st CR Gull from Iceland.

UPDATE:  04/09/2017

Received interesting and prompt reply from  Gudmundur A. Gudmundsson of the Icelandic Ringing Scheme, confirmed as an Icelandic Ringed Lesser Black Backed Gull.  However, since being ringed as a Chick it has never been recorded back in Iceland.  All sighting since it has been ringed were in Spain or Portugal and it hasn't been recorded for 5 years.  It is now 10 years old. Great result.

Lesser Black Backed Gull

Lesser Black Backed Gull from Iceland

Unfortunately, there was a German Juvenile Black Headed Gull that as we were trying to confirm a sand buggy roared through the flock and put everything out to sea.  Each time they started to come ashore it roared through the flocks again and again so we had to call it a night.  Fantastic evening ring reading.